Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming.
This list and our “Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Orlando,” “The Best Places to Live in Orlando,” and our “Best Neighborhoods for Families in Orlando” lists are more in-depth neighborhood guides meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—movers in Orlando and beyond).
We’re searching the hot lands of Orlando, locating the best suburbs of the city. The parks, fresh seafood, theaters, wildlife, watersports, museums, and the area’s richest entrepreneur (Mr. Mickey Mouse of course) keep residents happily entertained. We’ve researched and compiled our list of the top 4 Orlando suburbs. Check out our list below to help guide you on picking your new Orlando home.
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This colorful, popular suburb is friendly and safe. With plenty of shopping opportunities, good schools, and tasty local restaurants, many residents are willing to spend a little extra to live here. Located about 30-minutes southwest of downtown, trips to center-city are easy.
Oh, and the neighborhood was built by Disney…which is right next door.
For the best local food in Celebration, and an exquisite dining experience check out the authentic Cuban restaurant, Columbia. Do not leave until you try their Sangria and infamous 1905 Salad made with thin cuts of baked ham, swiss cheese, and grated Romano with their special garlic dressing.
The Celebration Town Tavern serves classic American dishes with a full bar and an amazing bloody mary. The Cafe D’Antonio Italian restaurant is both classy and casual, with simple seating inside and outside, and a thoughtful menu of tasty and traditional Italian dishes. Another favorite is the popular Imperium Food & Wine. This wood and wine-decked restaurant serves soups, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches, sliders, wraps, and enough wine to float you back home.
While comfortable Orlando suburbs are often packed full of retirees, Winter Park draws a different crowd. Idyllic and tree-lined? Yes. But also, Orlando’s thriving food scene got its start right in this neighborhood.
The suburb opened the city’s heart for great food when 4 Rivers Smokehouse opened its doors. This little starter is considered one of the best barbecue joins in the entire state. And, it has since successfully spread its saucy goodness to 14 locations. Today, the restaurant scene in Winter Park thrives with dishes from authentic Indian fare to high-end Mexican food.
Warm and welcoming, Winter Park invites a diverse crowd. And located only about 15-minutes north of downtown, this neighborhood offers all the amenities of a modern city and all the charm of a small town.
A local favorite in the neighborhood is The Ravenous Pig. Their warm, elegant dining area serves tasty American dishes, in-house brewed beers, and handcrafted cocktails. Try their Chicken & Waffles with black strap caramel and apple jam. Want to eat lunch like a local? Visit Black Bean Deli. This tiny Cuban corner serves pressed, hot sandwiches that honor the traditional ingredients and flavors of old-time Cuban cuisine.
Besides food, Winter Park holds parks, museums, events, and shopping destinations. Visit Park Avenue, the beautiful, tree-lined main street of Winter Park. You’ll find a busy pocket with more than 140 shops, boutiques, and cafes. Walk through the tropical oasis at Mead Botanical Garden, blooming with local floral foliage and dotted with wildlife. Or peruse Louis Comfort Tiffany’s stained glass designs at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum.
Located about 25 minutes northeast of center-city, Oviedo has low crime rates, good schools, cuisines from across the world, great parks, and friendly residents. And it’s growing. New shops and restaurants appear left and right, and the nearby University of Central Florida brings in a flow of diverse residents.
Butted up against Lake Jesup, Overlook Park is a safe way to peer from a good distance at the 10,000+ alligators that roam the waters. Tour operators are available for information about these scaley beasts and rides across the lake in an airboat if you dare. The Little Big Econ State Forest spreads over close to 10,300 acres and is a great spot for hiking, paddling, horseback riding, biking, hunting, fishing, and spotting the rich wildlife.
Or take a day trip to the nearby Sanford. This quaint neighboring town has some cute shops and stops, a zoo, parks, and waterfronts. But it also has several craft breweries and bars within walking distance of each other. So strap on your comfy shoes and get to brew-crawling. Slow down the booze’s pace and keep up your walking pace with some of Sanford’s great local grub.
Our favorite restaurant in Oviedo is Sushi Pop This contemporary Japanese restaurant serves tasty dishes featuring fresh seafood including sushi, sashimi, curries, and Korean chicken. The Townhouse Restaurant is a popular spot. This old fashioned diner-style restaurant serves American and Greek classics, and features live music, patio seating, and craft beer.
Oviedo’s top public schools include Evans Elementary School, Galileo School for Gifted Learning and Hagerty High School. Its top private schools include St. Luke’s Lutheran School and Twin Rivers Montessori Academy. For daycares, check out the top-rated Alafaya Woods KinderCare and Ladybird Academy of Oviedo.
This large suburban neighborhood is home to many happy residents. With great local eats and shopping, Winter Garden is drawing Floridians to the neighborhood. More restaurants and shops keep popping up too. A recent hot-spot is the locally-sourced Press’d. This cold-pressed juice bar also serves smoothies, meals, and healthy snacks all from locally sourced farms.
Winter Garden is home to the fourth largest lake in the state, Lake Apopka. This blue beauty provides locals with a wave of activities like nature walks, hiking trails, and bike paths. Another amazing outdoor amenity of the neighborhood is the West Orange Trail. This 22-mile paved bike path connects to the 250-mile Coast to Coast Trail, which runs the width of the state and through Orlando. Casual peddlers and serious cyclists comfortably and often share this scenic road.
The Saturday Farmers Market brings local crowds shopping for ripe produce, locally made crafts and goods, and fresh-cut flowers. Plant Street Market is another local favorite that adds some happy shopping to the week’s schedule. This market has over 20 vendors in one building and serves food and beer from the connecting brewery.
Market To Table is our favorite local restaurant. This modern spot in the heart of Winter Garden’s downtown has become a local gem. Their menu merges with the seasons and the available ingredients, so you’ll always find something delicious, elegant, and perfectly matched with the weather.
Crooked Can Brewing Company is an absolute must-visit. This local brewery pumps out delicious bubblies for patrons to enjoy from their striking taproom of thick cement bar tops, wood-cladding-covered walls, and gleaming stainless steel brewing equipment. After dinner and drinks, catch a play or movie at The Garden Theatre.
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhops. As we said, we coordinate local and long distance moving services in Orlando, and we would love to help.
We've made our choices for the top neighborhoods for families in Orlando. Check 'em out.
Moving to Orlando? We've put in the research and selected our top places to live in Orlando. Enjoy.